Friday, August 19, 2011

Which Came First?

We were driving into the neighborhood the other day behind a leather-clad motorcyclist. The dude looked pretty formidable, but just before we parted ways with the bike Matt and I spotted a long, curly ponytail laying down the biker's back. Matt goes, "That's a chick!" And I was like, "Seriously? Whoa, that IS a chick." Gabe shouted out, "Where?" and Matt directed him to the motorcycle, which was speeding away from us. Gabe again shouted, "WHERE?" and I said, "Riding the bike that was in front of us, Gabe, that was a chick."
Gabey got all excited and flustered but managed to haltingly exclaim, "I can't see how... And I VERY don't believe it... that a CHICKEN could ride a motorcycle!"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Prayer of a Gabey

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day and for all our blessings. And thank you for medicine when we're sick, and when we get dead we can live again. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
I love him.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh How Things Change...

Last time we were pregnant, Jesse's constant remark was, "When is the baby gonna hatch?"
...Cute, right?

His response to tonight's announcement was, "We'd better get a new dresser or something cause he's not using mine."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Great Stuff.

Stumbled across this great self-sufficiency article here, thought y'all might appreciate it too.

"...In the end supplies may be the least important part of prepping. However, because gear is the easiest to acquire, requiring only a credit card, sometimes it is the aspect of prepping most people relate to, because it is something they can immediately jump into. I’ll admit that I was part of this group, and I acquired a whole lot of stuff long before I knew what to do with it.
I’ve since come to understand that acquiring skills is of far more value. Using a chain saw, running a trot line, knowing CPR and basic first aid, being able to change a flat tire or clean your battery posts, are all examples of useful skills. Robert Heinlein in his book Time Enough For Love says:
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
As a specific example, let’s talk about starting a fire. While I have many ways to start a fire, including bic lighters, magnesium fire starters, and waterproof matches, none of those would replace or be more valuable than the ability to start a fire without any of those things. Any number of things can happen to our stuff, but its much harder to take away our natural abilities and skills. The important thing to remember is that any of us can learn to start a fire the ‘old-fashioned ways’. (And it’s one of the thousand things on my list! As I will go into detail in a future post, in a longer-term disaster scenario, supplies main use is to buy us time for our skills to come into play.
So if you’re just starting out on the prepping path, find out those around you who have skills you might one day need and ask if they would be willing to teach you. Most times they will be, as it is human nature to want to share what we know. Also check out your local Red Cross Courses or your local community college, as many offer one day or multi-day courses in practical skills. In future posts we will cover must-have and good-to-have skills and where to learn them. If you would like to discuss something in particular, please let me know!
Our next several posts will discuss the other 2 fundamental aspects of prepping: fortitude and supplies.

So what is a basic definition of prepping?
A basic definition of prepping is ‘Gaining the skills, supplies, and mental and physical fortitude to be prepared for any circumstance.’ While it is likely impossible to be prepared for ‘any’ circumstance, such as the moon careening out of orbit or a large asteroid strike a la Armageddon, that is the goal we shoot for.
When I discuss being prepared, I don’t just mean in terms of a major disaster, but also each little emergency in our lives. For example, can you change a flat or jumpstart your car? Do you know how to safely deal with a wasp’s nest underneath your porch? How to safely put out a stove fire?
So while yes, we’ll talk about being able to deal with a power outage lasting 30 days on our own store of supplies, being a prepper means being self-sufficient wherever we can. I’ll be straight up with y’all. For most of my life, I was a chain-smoking, video-game playing, indoor-dwelling, TV-watching sloth. My opinion of a trip outside was running to the convenience store for more Amberbock. My method of changing a tire or jump-starting my car was calling AAA.
However, somewhere along the line about 7 years ago, I started controlling the elements of my life, instead of having them control me. I quit smoking cold turkey, and I was smoking 3 packs a day. I got out of debt, even though I was only making a very average wage. I started to get back into shape after having abused my body with smokes and alcohol for many years.
So please believe me when I say anyone can do this, and needs to! My family were laughing at me recently as I struggled to dig a trench for my wife’s tomato plants. I was actually a little hurt, but to be honest they were right to laugh. They have never known me as anything other than a couch-dwelling, coffee-swilling layabout.
So digging ditches was not something I had ever done before…but guess what? It is now. I’ve learned quite a bit about good technique and not so good technique. And as a side benefit, because so much of what I dug up was rock, I decided to kill two birds and use the rock to help with a grade I am going to build up under my porch.
If something needs to be done around my house, it is my responsibility to do it, especially if it doesn’t require specialized skills (and sometimes even if it does). The reason I started Advice and Beans is because I believe it is time for every person to make self-sufficiency part of our lives, and to not expect others to do for us what we can do for ourselves.
If we make it a habit to try to resolve any situation prior to calling in the cavalry, eventually we’ll find that most of us can do many tasks we used to rely on others for. That ability to function consistently without outside assistance will help in the most critical times, because we will have conditioned ourselves to act, not react."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Praise Heaven!!

Celebrate with me-

Prayer, guidance from my neighbor, and a little redneck riggin just fixed my plumbing!!! AND with NO trip to Home Depot!!!

Hip-Hip HOORAY!!!

My New Favorite Phrase...

"Mom! No, just one more chapter- PLEASE!!!!!!"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Finally Following the Gut, HOORAY!!!!

We pulled Jesse out of school.

Don't even get me STARTED on the reasons. We were hesitant (to say the least) to enroll him in public school this year but in the end we decided to officially give it a try, even if only to rule out the option once our suspicians were confirmed.


So, now we're a homeschool family. So far, it's fantastic. (I know, I know. We're just getting started. But don't kill my buzz, people. I need it.)

We're still gathering curriculum, but here's what we plan to focus on. Lots of common thinking with this dude. This is an excerpt from an article on his site:

Today I frequently return to the lessons I learned in my youth.
We had a home teacher, an older gentleman (he was also Stake Patriarch), who would visit with us faithfully on the first Sunday of each month. He told us the stories of his youth.
He was raised on a farm in southern Idaho. They grew wheat, corn and potatoes. They also had a small herd of cattle. He had a neighbor that would torment his father. This neighbor would point out everything that our friend’s father did wrong. The furrows were not straight enough. They didn’t fertilize properly. The cultivating was never right. The irrigation was not done properly. Nothing would satisfy this neighbor.
This wise father operated his farm in an unusual manner. He gave each of his boys responsibility for a 20 acre plot when they reached a certain age. The boys were to plow, fertilize, plant, irrigate, cultivate, and harvest. They even got to keep the profits. They just had to replace the seed. The boys made many mistakes. Our friend told us that the first year he had responsibility for his 20 acres, he barely harvested enough corn to reseed the next year. He was very embarrassed, even ashamed.
The neighbor was right. Many things on the farm were not as they should be. The boys were running things, or so it appeared.
One day our friend overheard his father and the neighbor (who was an atheist, and did not believe that parents had any right to indoctrinate their children) talking. His father said words to this effect: “You don’t understand you think that I am raising potatoes or corn or cows. I’m not raising any crops or any animals. I am raising boys . If you spent as much time raising your boys, as you spend telling me how to run my farm, perhaps they would have turned out different.”
This wise father was letting his boys learn, and make mistakes, under his watchful eye. He maintained the bulk of the farm and made sure that the family had enough, but he allowed the boys to make mistakes and see the consequences of those mistakes. The neighbor was just a farmer, only raising crops, but he was never a father.
Children do not raise themselves. They learn from their parents, in both word and in deed.
I was visiting with friends from my mission in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, when one person whom I did not know asked me where I was from. I told him I was from Southern California. This brought to mind visions of endless beaches, lined with palm trees and decorated with beautiful bikini clad women. I explained that I was not from that part of California, but I was from the desert, a place that I affectionately call “the place of eternal religious retribution.” I told him, “It is very hot there, as a matter of fact, it was 114 degrees in the shade the day before I flew out here.” When he heard this, he leaned over to his wife and said, “Remember that. Next time you’re out there, keep out of the shade.”
At first, I thought that this comment was just funny. The more I thought about it the more profound it became, because when you’re not in the shade, you are in the light. I learned a song, in church, as a child that goes like this:

Teach me to walk, in the light of His love.Teach me to talk to my Father above,Teach me to know of the things that are right,
Teach me, teach me, to walk in the light.
When we are not in the shade, we are in the light. My parents taught my brothers and me to avoid anything shady, and stay in the light. I was the youngest of four boys. There was never any doubt that my parents were always raising boys. Now my wife and I are in the business of raising daughters.
(Note: Self teaching is a valid approach. I recommend using it only went there is no other choice.)

THIS is the kind of stuff I want my kids to learn, and the kind of stuff I intend to teach them. And speaking of the subject, we've also taken this big change as an opportunity to impart some other things. I've been taking a moment here and there to teach the boys all the skills of my regular work around the house- like, virtually all of it. YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE how little trouble it's been. And suddenly, everything gets done. No, seriously! I mean, we've cut out a little of what used to take up our time, but WOW! You can ask Matt, and he will confirm. The house is clean when he gets home. The kids have learned more (academically & real-world) than they ever would have before, and so far I even get to blow dry my hair every day!! NO BULL, I'm telling the truth. So, God does answer prayers. See, I told ya!! Goodness, life is better at this moment than I'd have ever dared to wish for. (Satisfied sigh.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Want it?

Getting rid of most of my Halloween stuff. Anyone want to pick it up? Otherwise, will take to Good Will. Thanks y'all!